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HPE North America Restructures To Drive GreenLake Sales

Steven Burke

Under a new North America organizational structure, which went into effect Nov. 1, HPE has shifted from a geographic to an industry vertical and customer segment focus with specialized sales teams.

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise has reorganized its sales organization in North America, adding a new vertical market focus to drive GreenLake cloud service pay-per-use sales growth.

Under a new North America organizational structure, which went into effect Nov. 1, HPE has shifted from a geographic to an industry vertical and customer segment focus with specialized sales teams.

HPE Vice President Joe Ayers, who was heading up global, commercial, enterprise and SMB for the U.S. East, is now leading a new U.S. industries team focusing on five key vertical markets: financial services industry, health care and life sciences, manufacturing, high tech and energy, and retail and insurance.

[RELATED: HPE Mounts Massive Cloud Storage Market-Share Grab]

“We have to be able to talk to our customers with authenticity and credibility in the language of their industry,” said HPE North America Managing Director Paul Hunter, the driving force behind the vertical market sales effort. “We have had some breakthroughs with some life sciences companies on the cloud services platform particularly as it relates to machine learning. When you are talking to a life sciences company or an instrumentation company about machine learning implementation, you have got to do it in the language of the data of their industry and that requires expertise.”

Just as HPE is adding new vertical market industry talent to their sales teams, partners will need to do the same, said Hunter.

“We will add industry expertise. Our partners will need to do the same and we will need to be collaborating much, much more tightly by industry,” he said. “We’ll see that develop over time. I think that will be another tailwind for us going into 2023.”

Besides the new vertical focus, HPE is sharpening its focus on specialized sales teams including a new North America data services and storage team under Adnan Bhutta and a U.S. enterprise and commercial team under Monica Gille, vice president of sales, enterprise and commercial. Gille is leading a stepped-up drive to capture new opportunities in data, cloud and artificial intelligence.

Hunter said the cloud storage data services opportunity and the continuing HPE GreenLake sales offensive are front and center for HPE’s fiscal year 2023, while the artificial intelligence and machine learning opportunity is the “most nascent” from a partner standpoint.

The HPE GreenLake block-storage-as-a-service opportunity is “huge” for partners, said Hunter, with HPE nearly tripling the incentives for partners from 6 percent to 17 percent.

As for the HPE GreenLake cloud services opportunity, Hunter said it “continues to get bigger and is scaling in a way that we planned and intended.”

In fact, Hunter said HPE North America delivered another breakout year for HPE GreenLake with the cloud service growing in North America at a faster pace than for the overall company.

“We have had a laserlike focus on one key metric: the number of new customers we add to our platform,” said Hunter. “That metric is what has driven all our behavior in the last two years. We doubled it from 2020 to 2021 and we increased it another 60 [percent to] 70 percent from 2021 to 2022. And of course the base gets bigger. So we are adding new customers at an accelerated pace year after year. The attention with our teams to that one metric has brought real clarity on what is important. “

C.R. Howdyshell, president of Cleveland-based Advizex, No. 104 on the 2022 CRN Solution Provider 500, applauded the new vertical market focus.

“This is exactly what customers are looking for—the more vertical expertise we and HPE can bring to the table the better,” said Howdyshell. “This CEOs we meet with want to make sure that we know and understand their business. This could bring significant vertical resources to the channel. If HPE executes on this, it will be a significant benefit to the channel.”

Dan Molina, co-president and CTO of Nth Generation Computing, a San Diego-based HPE partner, said he sees the vertical market focus from HPE as critical to success going forward.

“This is a really smart move by HPE,” he said. “We have talked a lot about the fact that it is all about the workload, but the workload varies depending on the industry. If you are a doctor or a dentist, you want to talk to people who have experience working in that environment. So breaking things into a vertical market focus makes a ton of sense. End-user organizations are going to appreciate this. They want to make sure they are not falling behind their peers. This is really going to resonate with all of the different industry verticals.”

Nth Generation Computing, for its part, has focused on a number of verticals in areas such as public sector and health care. “We have certain sectors and verticals where we are more knowledgeable and more relevant,” he said. “So we do have a number of verticals where we will be able to align with HPE.”

Steven Burke

Steve Burke has been reporting on the technology industry and sales channel for over 30 years. He is passionate about the role of partners using technology to solve business problems and has spoken at conferences on channel sales issues. He can be reached at sburke@thechannelcompany.com.

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